Welcome to Vintage Paparazzi.

Louella Parsons’ Good News

Shelley Winters, who exploded in Rome because she was so hurt over Vittorio Gassman, returned to Hollywood calmed down—at least on the surface.

She told me, “I just want to forget him. I don’t want anything from him except support for little Vittoria. Thank God, I have my baby. I’m going to devote my life to her.”

Right here is where I made the fatal mistake of asking Shelley if it is true she has fallen in love with another actor in Europe.

Shelley snapped, “I am no longer in the import-export business.”

The more I hear and see of Rock Hudson the better I like him. When premiere-time for Magnificent Obsession was rolling around (it’s Rock’s greatest picture) his studio asked him to take a famous glamour girl to the event.

Rock just shook his head. “Sorry, fellas,” he said, “I invited Betty Abbott weeks ago and she’s going to be my date.”

Betty is the very pretty script girl at Universal-International whom Rock has been taking out pretty steadily. I asked one of his best friends if he thought it was a serious thing between Rock and Betty.

“Let’s put it this way,” the pal explained, “right now the big love in Rock’s life is his career. He feels he is just beginning to get the right roles and he wants nothing to divert him from improving himself as an actor.

“He finds Betty wonderful company and she is very understanding of his point of view. I doubt if wedding bells have entered either of their thoughts. But as time goes on, and Rock becomes more firmly established—who knows? Betty may prove to be just the right girl for him.”

Speaking of the premiere of Magnificent Obsession, you should have seen the expression on Donald O’Connor’s face when Julia Adams (the girl he’s rumored to be “crazy about”) walked right past him into the theatre on the arm of designer Bill Thomas!

Don had come stag because he thought Julia had a cold!

Joan Crawford wore what she described as a “little girl dress” of white embroidery to the surprise birthday party she gave for her press agent, Henry Rogers. But there was nothing “little girl” about the enormous diamond pin she was sporting—a real whopper.

The party was held in the private room at Chasen’s cafe and it suddenly became the most glamorous “nightclub” in the world when the guests started putting on an impromptu show.

First to take over were June Allyson and director Chuck Walters who did an exhibition dance that would have done credit to the De Marcos or Veloz and Yolanda. Beaming proudly from a ringside table was Dick Powell, who thinks everything June does is perfect anyway.

Then Donald O’Connor and his sidekick, Sidney Miller, took over the mike. No one was surprised that this team was funny, but Don brought down the house when he sang, “My Secret Love” as beautifully as I have ever heard it.

Doris Day had first been invited to warble her Oscar-winning song. But she said she was too nervous to do it. So she sat nearby coaching Don with the words which he did not know.

Next came Jane Wyman really going to town singing “Sunny Side Of The Street” accompanied by the composer, Jimmy McHugh.

Joan’s fifteen-year-old daughter Christina was permitted to come to the party and stay until ten o’clock. From the expression on her face at ten o’clock, methinks the young lady didn’t care for that going-home routine.

Fred MacMurray was with June Haver. Who else? No matter how crowded the room, these two never seem to realize anyone else is around.

I continue to be amazed by the way the pregnant ladies of today get around—and in the highest fashion, too. Jane Greer Lasker, who looked as though she might have her baby the following morning, was radiant in a cute natural straw hat with a perky rose on top—and she danced every time the music struck up.

Another expectant mother, Frances (Mrs. Van) Heflin wore a cocoa chiffon cocktail dress that could have been worn by a Paris model. She and Van arrived in his low-slung Jaguar. “I love riding in it,” said Frances, “but the getting in and out takes a bit of doing.”

One of my favorite bits of the evening was watching George Burns do a soft shoe routine a la the old vaudeville days. It was quite a wingding Miss Crawford hosted—or should I say hostess-ed?

Ran into Dale Robertson right after his return from location on Sitting Bull in Mexico City and he was plenty hot under the collar over printed stories that he got into a saloon brawl down there over Mary Murphy.

“It was just one of those things that often happen to actors in public,” Dale said. “An obnoxious drunk gets funny, passes some cracks and there’s nothing left to do but take a poke at him.”

Whether he got into a fight over Mary or not, my money says that she is the big romance in his life right now. These two have dinner almost every night in one of the quiet bistros and the way they look at one another isn’t chilly.

Shortly after Dale parted from his wife there was a lot of noise that he would marry Cherie de Castro when he is free. Cherie is the cute. chorus girl at the Moulin Rouge whose press agent started beating the drums that she was Dale’s true love.

Dale settled this with, “Cherie’s still married. So am I until my interlocutary decree becomes final in eight months. But even if we were both as free as the air we would stay that way!”

Most of Hollywood was on the police blotter for some happening or other this month. For a few weeks movietown sounded like one of Jack Webb’s Dragnet episodes. Here are the facts, ma’am:

A few hours after about ninety guests and I departed Jane Wyman’s house after a gala party, a housebreaker lifted $19,000 of Janie’s jewelry and padded out of the house so softly that Jane, Freddie Karger, the two children and the servants slept through the whole thing!

P.S. A man was later arrested in Tia Juana and part of Janie’s stolen gems were found on him. 

Just a few days following the Wyman theft, a police ambulance was called to take Dr. Lew Morrill away from the home of his estranged wife, Rhonda Fleming. Lew had fallen and broken his leg in three places.

“We had been discussing our problems late into the evening and I asked Lew to get some firewood,” redheaded Rhonda explained. “He slipped on a rock and was barely able to drag himself to the back door. He was screaming with pain.”

Rhonda said she was “very sorry” about the accident, but she didn’t see how it necessarily meant she should make up with poor Lew who, doctors say, will be laid up from seven to ten months. She filed for divorce the day after he left the hospital.

And Aldo Ray was actually picked up by the cops after he left the home of his fiancée, Jeff Donnell, and returned several hours later to pick up the script of Battle Cry which he had forgotten.

Attempting to slip quietly into the patio where he had left it on a table, and hoping not to awaken Jeff, Ray was suddenly seized by patrol guards who had been posted in the neighborhood after a series of robberies.

If Aldo hadn’t beaten on the door hard enough to awaken Jeff and clear himself, he would have spent the night in the bastille.

Whether it was lost, dropped or stolen, the police were called when Mary Pickford’s $20,000 canary diamond clip, surrounded by 250 baguette diamonds, was “missed” somewhere between the Mocambo and a private party.

With all the fuss about Donald O’Connor’s reference to her pregnancy after she sang “Secret Love” at the Academy Awards, I asked Ann Blyth McNulty herself how she felt about it.

“I thought it was cute,” laughed Ann. “Don and I have been pals for years. I was amused when he said ‘Secret Love’ had been sung by Ann Blyth and family.”

So there—all you critics who panned Don!

The reconciliation between the gene nelsons didn’t take although gene did everything in his power to woo Miriam back after the Jane Powell episode.

Miriam dated Gene, and she thought seriously about it because of their little boy.

But she finally decided, “When love is really dead, and not just hidden under the embers, it is almost impossible to bring it to life again no matter how hard we try.”

Take it easy, take it easy! Bing Crosby is not pictured as a hopeless drunk in The Country Girl.

Alarmed over the barrage of letters flooding the studio, Paramount is launching a campaign to counteract the rumors that Bing is soused throughout the picture with Grace Kelly and Bill Holden.

Head man Adolph Zukor says, “To calm all fears, we will show the finished film to a committee of churchmen before the release. This will assure all the fans who respect Mr. Crosby and look up to him that he will not be portrayed as an unsavory character.”

Bing himself says, “I’m shown taking only one drink in the whole picture. It’s really a theme of faith and two people’s belief in a man who has lost his way and who gets back on the right path because of them.”

I’m really on my soapbox against Simone Silva, the brazen French girl who posed nude-above-the-waist with Robert Mitchum at the Cannes film festival, coming to Hollywood for a film career.

And while I’m on the subject, I think Mr. Mitchum’s conduct was unpardonable, too, and if his excuse is that if he hadn’t been in the pictures he would have been forced into a creek, I say he should have fallen in the creek!

Somebody is going to have to bring this young man to terms before he brings another major scandal on Hollywood. He has been very, very lucky in having the friendship of a powerful producer to keep his career going. And, he has been lucky in having a wife like Dorothy, a very fine woman.

But to get back to this Simone person. She impudently stated in Cannes that she did her outrageous act because she wanted a career in Hollywood.

When she arrived in New York she “obliged” the photographers by doing a modified version of her Cannes striptease. And, in Hollywood, she stated at the airport, “My bosom is larger than Jane Russell’s or Marilyn Monroe’s and I shall become just as famous.”

This is what we are looking for in Hollywood?????? I shan’t even mention the name of the sensation-seeking producer who signed her and I hope by the time you read this she is on her way back to France.

Madly in love with brewer Philip Liebmann and wanting to be with him all the time, Linda Darnell (usually a doll to work with) was as snappish as a cross puppy making Night Music.

If an actor missed a cue or muffed a line, Linda would break into nervous tears and then time would have to be taken out while her make-up was repaired.

When a reporter asked her if she and Liebmann, a very attractive young man as well as a rich one, would be married when the picture was finished, Linda snapped, “Wait till the picture is finished and find out.”

Unless present plans go way astray, I’m betting that Linda and Liebmann (head man of the Rheingold Beer Company) will be married by the time you read this and on their way to a honeymoon in Europe.

Personal Opinions: The supposed feud between Ava Gardner and Italy’s leading glamour girl, Gina Lollobrigida, in Rome was strictly a phony, just for the publicity on Barefoot Contessa. Gina is said to have visited the set and Ava refused to meet her. For the record (straight from my Italian spy) Ava wasn’t even working this day. . . . They held a private showing of The Caine Mutiny for me and I can tell you that Robert Francis, the newcomer who plays the boy, will be a terrific hit. Watch for this boy, he’s going to be great. . . . Ooops! William Holden’s “asking price” has jumped to $200,000 per picture since he won the Oscar. . . . Cleo Moore is too pretty and too talented to permit her press agent to keep harping on the fact that she is “the kiss girl” whose long smooch with disk jockey Jack Eigen got him fired from his Tv show in Chicago. . . . Isn’t Kirk Douglas ever going to get a screen role which will permit him a haircut? Kirk has the longest bob in town. . . . Kinda cute the way Lex Barker is teaching Lana Turner to economize, something Lana has never heretofore gone in for. Lex told her, “We can either take a two weeks vacation in Honolulu or build a new room on the house for the kids. Which do you prefer?”—and Lana settled for the new room! . . . Frank Sinatra wants to turn director and I love Frankie’s reply to someone who asked him, “What makes you think you can be a director?” He said, “The same thing that made me think I could be a singer—and an actor!”

Easter In Palm Springs was plenty hot (110 in the shade—and no shade)—but plenty of fun. The William Perlbergs had a big party on Saturday night which became even bigger than expected when Lindsay Crosby showed up with eight of his Loyola school pals—and they all had dates.

Lindsay’s old man, Bing, is like a mother hen whenever Lindsay and his cronies are around. “I have so much fun with the kids,” Bing told me,. “I’ve called off my trip to Europe.”

One of the prettiest girls in Lindsay’s group was Danny Thomas’ daughter, Marjorie. She’s a student at Marymount and so attractive.

Mary and Jack Benny and Kitty and Mervyn Le Roy were also among the guests who had a time with the kids.

The Letter Box: “Chalene,” of New York, writes: “I want Dale Robertson to know he hasn’t lost a single fan by his divorce. In a magazine Mrs. Robertson is quoted as saying, ‘I had the feeling from the beginning that he regretted our marriage.’ Looks like she didn’t expect the marriage to last and with her thinking like that, how could it? She blames everything on him. Gallantly, he has nothing to say against her. We’re for Dale!”

Dorothy McDonald, The Plains, Ohio, doesn’t go for Peter Lawford: “I always think of him as Petah Lahwfahd. Don’t you?” Not necessarily. Many fans are crazy for Petah.

Emily MacMasters, Sanford, Florida: “I am completely through: with Vittorio Gassman, his conceit and his heart of rock.” You and Shelley Winters, Emily.

“I wish Suzan Ball and Dick Long to know that they have made the heart of the world beat a little more tenderly because of their inspiring love story,” writes Sally del Valle, from Havana, Cuba. “They more than make up for such sordid romances as Zsa Zsa Gabor and that man, and many others I shan’t dignify by naming.”

Mrs. Donald Wallisch thinks Montgomery Clift was robbed because he didn’t get the Oscar for his “inspired” playing in From Here To Eternity. “Clift is the screen’s greatest actor,” says Mrs. Wallisch. William Holden isn’t bad either, Mrs. W.!

That’s all for now. See you next month.





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